What's your Christmas Budget? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 10-28-2003, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Since Ds was born I have always made a "budget" limiting what I will spend on him for christmas. Otherwise DH and I will buy any and everything we can think of. BUt fast forward 6 years and two more kids later I'm not too sure on what's a good budget this year.We have a 6year old, and 2 year old and a 9 month old(for christmas).It has ranged from $150 to $325.As of right now I'm thinking $423.73 to cover everything. That's the exact amount of the tax check I still haven't cashed!
So what's your christmas budget for the kids?
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#2 of 22 Old 10-28-2003, 02:11 PM
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We buy for 10 people (including the kids). I'm not planning on spending the same amount for each child. Jordan (at 15) has more expensive tastes and is into bigger toys. So we will spend more on him, but get less. Then Dalton. Her things are still not quite so much, but getting there. And the poor baby Quinten, lol, he is happy with little things. So it'll be easy to only spend $75 to $100 on him.

Here's my plan

MIL & FIL -- 100 combined
My stepmom -- 100
Dad -- 100
Sister -- 60
Ds's boyfriend -- 30
Brother -- 60
Jordan -- 300
Dalton -- 150
Quinten -- 100

There I wrote it down. So now I *have* to stick to it
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#3 of 22 Old 10-28-2003, 02:34 PM
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we have a list of about 20-25 people, but we try to keep it under $500 or so....with no gifts for each other....yeah right.


in a perfect world.

this year we are really simplifying. we are only buying for immediate famly (parents and siblings, neices nephews) and being very frugal. who needs a bunch more junk anyway???? I would just get gift cert. but what does that mean? I would only do homeade, but that would pi$$ alot of these guys off.

a friend (barbara) gave me a great tip when she said they try to stick to 3 gifts for each child, something to read, something to wear, and something to play with. I REALLY love that.

so this year we would also like to keep it under $500 (if we even have that much) with absolutely NO going over, and NO gifts for each other.

It shouldnt bother me, because it isnt about that anyway.

I also usually make fudge for EVERYONE (about 30-40 tins/boxes) but that costs over $100 for supplies, so this year I was thinking of switching to caramel corn...which should only cost $20 bucks for the same amount....if I can find packages to give them in, or wax paper, I dont know. interesting thread.

my inlaws spend alot, at least $150 on each of us, its creepy. and they make us give them 'lists' be them written or verbal. I wont, and dont do it. I think thats ridiculous. Its a fight every year. whats the point of that? makes the holidays so much more stressful than they should be.
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#4 of 22 Old 10-28-2003, 04:21 PM
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We have 6 people outside of our immediate family to buy for, 5 are toddlers. Then we have Kailey and each other to buy for. We will spend 50 dollars on each other and 50 on Kailey. No more than 10 dollars on the other children we'll buy for because they will all need to be mailed off. PLUS, one of our gifts is going to the cabin, ,and that is 200 dollars.

I will be making a few gifts for the toddlers on the list, so that is why we are limiting it to 10 dollars for bought things. The one adult will get a handmade item as well. Oh let me correct that, I have two adults to purchase for besides Mark.

This is the first year where sentimental value plays a more important role than monetary value and I feel GREAT about it!!!
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#5 of 22 Old 10-28-2003, 04:51 PM
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I have 11 kids and 8 adults to buy for....

And Noah, ofcourse.

Each child (they are from 5 months to 12 years old) get gifts for 15-20$. 10 kids are Noahs cousins. 1 is his uncle, my youngest brother.

The adults get something homemade, and gifts for 15-20$.

Noahs gifts costed around 40-45$.

I am desperately trying to use less and less money on gifts each year. I truly don`t think that expensive gifts is what it is about.

This year I am feeling good about myself, cause I have spent way less than I usually do on gifts. (Everything is either bought or ordered or atleast decided, so I know exactly how much everything will cost this year.)

*Single, attached Norwegian mama to my LoveBug, 2001*
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#6 of 22 Old 10-28-2003, 04:52 PM
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Well, I have a huge budget for my kids this year b/c my dad is building them a 2 story playhouse with running water and electricity(a/c and heat too) I"m buying the materials he's supplying the labor as his portion of their gift. They will also be receiving other gifts as well. BUT I started paying for the materials for the playhouse this summer, so the cost has been spread out over 6mos making it a lot more affordable. I also shop for christmas year round and put things away in the attic. I have stock piled Videos, wooden toys, and other things for christmas.
So I guess if I add it all up my budget is somewhere around 2000-3000 total, but keep in mind that includes one HUGE gift that cost about 1500.00, and was spent over a 6-9 mo period, not just in the month or so before Chirstmas. (and I think I added dd's birthday stuff in there too since her B-day is Nov. 18)
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#7 of 22 Old 10-28-2003, 05:02 PM
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Well, we have decided to do things differently this year (and from now on ), my dd is now at an age where what we do really influences her (3.5 years), so we are giving our own children 3 gifts each (think wise men) and they will be less than $100 (dh is going to make one of the gifts for each of them). OKAY- there will be books too, that I am not counting in there

All of the adults on our list-(13 of them) are getting homemade gifts. Everyone in my family has plently of money to buy what they need anyway, and dh's family is not exactly hurting either (if anyone were- I would be more "generous" with the money to adults). Luckily for me dh is an artist/graphic designer, so- he is making pub signs for his brothers, I am making celtic crosses (rotozipped out of wood and painted with celtic designs) and ornaments (also painted with celtic designs) for the sisters and SILs. I am also making (with dh's help) clocks (with celtic knots-see a theme here) on them for my mom and dh's grandfather. At Thanksgiving we are going to take a bunch of pics of my brother's kids and my BIL's kids, and our kids, and from them make a celtic (there it is again) themed custom mat for the pics like in collage style for my bro. and SIL, and BIL and SIL, and the grandparents (was that confusing?) There will be more crafting too, no doubt.

Mel Mel-I like the fudge idea, wanna pass on your recipe for me?

The reason we are trying to save our money on all the adults is b/c we are "adopting" a needy family, we will be buying a couple of outfits, a couple of toys and a couple of books for each child, and a present for each adult, probably winter coats for all too, and a bunch of food. DD is going to do all the shopping for this family with me and make the wrapping paper too. I am really happy to have her excited about this, and learning how fortunate we are.

The kids on my list (beside my own) -5 of them- are each getting an outfit, I already did the shopping in the bargain section of old navy online, and got complete outfits for 7 kids (mine included here) for $100 shipped. I also re-joined Children's book of the month club, and got 7 books for under $40. I bought the neices and nephews craft kits as well (I never know what toys they have).

So, that is my budget, it is meant to be $30 per kid (not mine) and no more than $5 on the materials for the adult gifts (which is pretty easy). It'll be under $400 all together.

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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#8 of 22 Old 10-28-2003, 05:02 PM
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Ok, here is my budget breakdown
Dh : nothing! We just had to shell out money for a new computer, and decided that that would be out christmas gift to each other
DS: Um, about $50. The little tikes car, and a magna doodle. Maybe some Ikea wooden toys
My mom: kitchen accessories for her new house, about $30
My dad: probably more kicthen accessories $30
bro #1: a hand-knit sweater. Yarn cost $15. I will have to think of something else too, as our birthday is 2 weeks before
bro #2: either a 1:24 scale wind up tractor for his collection $30, or a couple sets of cheap wrenches for work. He's a mechanic.
Nephew: hotwheels cars, $15
nephew/niece to be here next week: um, drool bibs. What more could an infant want? Maybe a pair of longies I knit, that are nb size. I knit them to look like long johns.

DH's family does a secret santa, so $25, plus a small gift for the kids, $10.

So total is... $205! Yay me!
Ok, and there is tax on that too, but that's beside the point.

edited because I spel gud.
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#9 of 22 Old 10-28-2003, 05:11 PM
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Last year was my dd's first Christmas so we went completely overboard buying everything we could think of. I don't really have a "budget" but I try to buy on sale and watch for deals. One thing around this time of year Bath and Body works will have a sale on their products $4-$5 each. I get a coupon if you sign up on their website for $10 if you spend $25 (I think they changed it to $35 this year but yoiu get more off if you sepnd more). I totally stock up on those and they make great gifts for friends, aunts, cousins, mothers, sisters, MIL ( etc). Our dollar store has those body poufs for 4/$1 so I include one of those with it. That is a pretty easy gift for $4.25- 9.25). I buy Christmas presents and birthday presents all year round if I see a good enough sale. For the kids in my life that I feel like I need to get a little something for I get books - I shop waldenbooks bargain section and big lots. A couple of kids I buy clothes for I just watch for sales and sometimes if you spend more you get more off - so I shop for my dd or dh too. The hardest person to buy for is my FIL - but he has really started liking those books on tape/cd and Sam'c club ( great place to shop) has them reasonably priced. I always watch the dollar tree, dollar general and big lots for good stuff. A lot of stuff is cheap crap nobody wants but SOMETImes They have really good/cute stuff.

Candles are a nice gift too and sometimes I will include some with the soap/lotions I give.

For my dd year I think what will I get her ( the child has so much and we are running out of room - we are looking for a house but it does not look like we will find one before CHristmas so we are still in our apartment for who knows how long) so really big gifts are out of the question.

I do want to get her a little oak rocker, books (she loves them and they don't take up a lot of space), probably some clothes even though she doesn't need them - aw lets face it I will go hog wild again. I can't help it

I do plan to do an ebay sale soon to get rid of stuff here and make some room for new stuff and I will put that money towards Christmas.
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#10 of 22 Old 10-28-2003, 07:24 PM
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Well I have changed my paradigm for Christmas since I had my dd. Right now when she is a baby our budget will go exclusively to travelling to a beautiful place over the holiday - for two weeks of fun in the sun in a new adventure. (if my client bookings go up before the end of November that is!!) But I digress.

I have one friend who goes out of his way to look after dd if I ask him to, for him I will get a gift certificate for $50 to a gourmet store he likes.

I make my own christmas cards and send them out to lots of people - they cost little.

I make about 20 dozen home made cookies that I give to my lab, my neighbors, my landlord, my bank, and one or two very good friends. I also give bottle of champagne to the manager at the lab and the guys who rent me camera equipment all year.

Other than that - nada.

But if I have the money come January - I go balls-out for dd's birthday.
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#11 of 22 Old 10-28-2003, 07:29 PM
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nak This is a fun thread! This year is the first Christmas in our little family that we haven't been dirt poor, so we're being a little extravagant.

DH and I are finally getting the wedding bands that we were too poor to buy when we got married last new year. Those will probably be about $300 total. DS is getting a train and a train table, but we're buying the Target ones. That'll be $120 for both the train and the table. I also ordered him a set of Stockmar crayons, and of course he'll get some books and maybe a new outfit. So that's maybe an extra $75 worth of stuff.

I'm making a rooster wall hanging for my mom, and the fabric will cost about $10. My dad will get a wild game cookbook, also about $10.
Dsis and SIL ~ $20 apiece for the smelly lotion, etc.
2 BILs ~$20
we're getting my grandparents a laptop, but that'll be a gift split between about 10 of us, and DH works with computers, so it'll be super cheap, about $30 for our share.
then there are two other kids who are getting small quilts, which is another $25 in fabric, etc...

a grand total of $660. not TOO bad, I think.
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#12 of 22 Old 10-28-2003, 07:58 PM
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Our budget follows:

$5 gifts for 4 neices, 2 nephews, 1 BIL and 1 SIL (my side of the family we don't exchange between adults). $40
$20 gifts for parents (combined) both sets total is $40

for our children, each receive 2 gifts from Santa and one gift from Parents....

We try to keep it under $200 because we're broke.
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#13 of 22 Old 10-28-2003, 09:38 PM
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We didn't do xmas last year because we lost our daughter and we were'nt in the mood for it, so I know this year my family and the IL's are going to go nuts! So we probably won't do much for each other gift-wise. I am making a nursing necklace and play mat for Ezra and will be dyeing some playsilks for him. I'll also be hand-sewing a stocking for him... my mother sewed our stockings, and I really want to sew his.

Since I left my job money has been tight, so I am really trying to spend as little as possible this year. I am making photo ornaments of Ezra for his grandmothers, and some photo magnets for his aunts and g-mas. I am sewing holiday dresses for my photographer friend in exchange for family portraits, which we will frame (Mike will make the frames) and give as gifts to both sides of the family. We will also be doing lots of baking! MelMel, you should take a look at the 'food and bread' storage bags at the grocery store for your caramel corn (great idea, BTW). A box if 75 is @ $3. They are clear and look great tied closed with curling ribbon.

I bought 6 yards of this nice wine and spruce plaid and matching ribbon to make fabric gift bags for baked goods and other gifts. I also found some great wood beads to make nursing necklaces with, and am going to try my hand at making felt/wood gnomes and fairies for play. I am also going to recycle some old jeans into 'activity mats' for little ones. A friend of mine is planning a swap party and I plan on making enough of these to trade with other mamas for other things I need. I may also participate in a soap workparty with another mom and make some bath stuff. I have been ebaying things we don't need/use and have been using the proceeds to pay bills and to buy xmas gifts...

I've also been buying up dipes for my sister's best friend. She and her dh are students. I helped them out with NB/SM CD's and now am scoring the next size up for them (she does not have internet) by buying and trading with other mamas. We don't have the resources to 'adopt' a family this year (much as we'd love to) so this is the next best thing for us... adopting a CD family

So, we have Mike's mom & aunt; my mom, dad, and sister; my uncle and his wife; and, um... 23 friends/associates, 6 children, and 3 dogs These people will be recieving bags of baked goods and other handmade items. I have to say that I am really excited about the holidays this year and am looking forward into producing these gifts.

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#14 of 22 Old 10-28-2003, 09:56 PM
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This year I have spent about 80.00 on my son. Thats sure sounds like a lot..but here is what that bought:

A Mr.Potato head kit...about 14.00

A fisher price drs kit..about 10.00

The Memory game..about 11.00

A Pair of slippers..about 8.00

three dvds, at abut 15.00 each..totaling 45.00 for that.

It is currently on lay away at walmart. I need to go make a 20.00 pyment on it this Friday. I still owe either 50 or 60 dollars.

I don't know if we will keep the memory game after I pay off the lay-away. I might put the slippers back too.

I have gotten nothing for my daughter yet. she ill only be about four months old and she will not know ANY differently if she gets nothing this year. Stioll I plan to get her some small things..typical baby toys..teething things and hand toys. Maybe a teddy bear or lovey type toy.

I always get my kids books....still gotta get some of those. This will be a 20.00 run to the goodwill sooner or later.

I ould have to say my limit is at around 100.00 per child..matbe 25.00 over . they don't need much though because between all of the family they will get enough gifts for four kids. Kibd of emberrassing really.
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#15 of 22 Old 10-28-2003, 10:22 PM
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You know when I knew I had grown up? When I stopped looking fwd to Santa b/c I had become Santa, aghhh!!!! I almost hate Christmas now as I'm getting older. (sorry to be so bah humbug scrougey)

My mom always wants some off the wall something that is ridiculously hard to find and overpriced like this year she wants Disney's OOP Cinderella. I just played this game buying her Lion King last year only to find out later that it was gonna be re-released and now this time this year it sells brand new for like $10, but it cost me $45 last year! For one stinking vhs! Then there is my dad who has everything, says he wants nothing, but then gets miffed if you give him a gift cert or something like that. I have the IL's to shop for too and they do the same as my dad...tell us they want/need nothing then get all pissy when they basically get nothing at Christmas, and homemade does not fly with those ingrates. 2 g'mas need gifts too (homemade welcome). Our two sons, and yes, 4 yo is already asking when we can see santa at the mall so he can tell him what he wants! It isn't even Halloween yet!!! I exchange with my bio brother and SIL and their daughter exchanges with the boys so that means we buy for her too. We are in agreement with other relatives (aunts/uncles, etc) and my step sibs to just exchange cards with pics to keep costs down. Then there is dh and I do like to get him something special and I don't really care what it ends up costing.

I think no matter how much I do homemade, I still end up going overboard somewhere or spend more than I want to spend and it usually ends up being about a grand, ughhh.
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#16 of 22 Old 10-28-2003, 10:40 PM
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gosh, i'm feeling pretty stingy. we just don't have disposable income to spend a lot, or even a little for a lot of people.
our plan right now is to donate money to charities in the names of people we'll see over the holidays. we'll donate for dh's parents and grandparents, my parents, dh's brother and his wife, and dh's sister and her husband, and dd's godparents. and we'll "adopt" a zoo animal for each of our little nieces, and i'll figure something out for our 17-year-old nephew. it's hard to shop for a teenage boy you haven't seen in 4 years!!!!!
oh, and i'll bake something for the mailman, since he is so nice!
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#17 of 22 Old 10-28-2003, 10:53 PM
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I am so excited!!! I just decided what I am making for everyone on my gift list!!!!

It's going to be the same thing just a few differences in each family's gifts.


I can't say what it is, because one of the recipients is on this board WOOHOO!!!
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#18 of 22 Old 10-29-2003, 12:52 AM
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OT replys:
potty diva, sounds like you gotta gem of an idea, maybe you could pm it too me, i need some ideas as well

I make about 4 different kinds of fudge, jess7396. 1.reg choc fudge. 2.choc with a bit of peanut butter fudge swirled in it (marbled, everyone asks for that one). 3.raisens and choc. 4.choc with nuts (walnuts). 5.choc with nuts AND raisens (I call it chunky bar fudge) 6.peanut butter (usually chunky peanut butter, or some creamy and some chunky. wow, thats 6 kinds. I can grab those recipes and pm them to you..they are really yummy, everyone asks for them every year, I hope they are happy with caramel corn.

good tip on those bags, XM, are they in the regular store, or a health food store?? I have never seen them, but they sound perfect for caramel corn.
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#19 of 22 Old 10-29-2003, 01:02 AM
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In years past, when we didn't budget Christmas, we'd spend $2000 to $3000 easy, total. This year we're trying to keep it to around $1000. I've started early this year, so that I can take advantage of every sale and discount offer that I can.

We mostly buy for family (three sets of parents, plus my brother's family, and of course our own family), but do have a small circle of friends that are as close as family with whom we exchange gifts. This year, our group decided to do all homemade gifts (mainly because one couple is getting ready to fork over $11,000 for a round of IVF) and I am thrilled with the idea. I think I'm going to make fabric & ribbon covered message boards for everyone. We also do "special" gifts with each other - cheap (under a $1) gag gifts - and this year everyone is getting a piece of the tacky wallpaper I just took down in our house, nicely glued to artist board.

My big "problem" is that gifts is my love language, so giving gifts that I know people will enjoy is a big deal to me. I spend a lot of time coming up with the perfect gift for each person, given my budget.
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#20 of 22 Old 10-29-2003, 02:53 AM
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We have 28 people to buy for... For the adults we do a project, building off of what we've done in the past... It cost about 50-100$ and that makes presents for 16 people. We started with gold painted wooden reindeer: http://www.mattandlisahart.com/reindeer.jpg and then last year made sleighs. This year I think we're making golden christmas trees. Not 100% sure yet.

For the kids we spend somewhere around 5-20$ each, I try to find good deals and keep it closer to the $5 range. So for the kids probably $200

Then there is presents for Matt (Dh) and to let him buy for me. We usually go way out for chistmas, spending over $1000 just buying presents for each other. But this year we have Orion
and are saving to pay for plane tickets to Hawaii with the in-laws in July, so it'll probably be $400 for us, $200 for me to spend on him, $200 for him to spend on me.

Then I'm thinking I'll proably buy too much for Orion, because Dh thinks he has everything he needs, and I just love cute things, and want an excuse. Proably $200 there.

So $900 or so. I'll try to trim it down from there, because I'd rather it was about $500...

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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#21 of 22 Old 10-29-2003, 09:25 AM
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I have eight children so my Christmas shopping list is rather large.

I have my eight children.

Two sons' in law.


Dad (they are divoriced so seperate gifts)

My single brother.


FIL and SMIL (yup, divoriced, too)

Granddaughter (squared because Christmas is also her birthday.)

Two nieces (little gifts)

Two Christmas parties in which we give small (but multiplied by seven it becomes large) gift exchange.

Chrildren like to give their teachers gifts as well (do the math)

So.....I try to keep the Christmas budget at about $1,500 but it can be as bad as $2,000.

This year I already got skiing and snowboarding equipment for most of them (got some good deals) and we spend the granddad money (both granddads tend to give us checks for Christmas) to go on skiing trips throughout the winter.

It's a bit crazy but I actually love Christmas and none of the kids is ever really spoiled with a lot of loot we just have a lot of people to love and give gifts.

Debra Baker
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#22 of 22 Old 10-29-2003, 09:28 PM
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wow, I love that 'gag' gift idea, SonjaG, how fun and cheap!

my extended family does a secret santa name draw gift exchange with a $25 dollar limit, and everyone puts 3 suggestions (ie: demands) with their name of what to get. everyone is SOOOO boring, and always put gift cert's or instant lotto tickets on their sheets...ugh, so dh and I always put vague 'fun' things on our papers...like last year, I put 'something round and red', and my cousin got me a red bracelet...my dh always puts wierd stuff like pickled eggs or pornography (my gramma got that one, she read it and asked what 'pornography' was in front of everyone, she even pronounced it wrong, it was like a bad movie) : he is a trouble maker.

but usually we just get funny looks and a gift certificate..too bad we cant participate this year.
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